Council decisions make for a costly end for taxpayers
Apparently the Trio Marine fiasco has come to a costly end for the Penticton taxpayer.Let us examine the reported statement by Mayor Jakubeit in relation to this unpleasant misadventure, “Jakubeit said that he doesn’t regret partnering with Trio in the first place, and has since come to more fully appreciate the need for more adequate public consultation.”It seems odd that he doesn’t regret this significant waste of taxpayer dollars, and the strife and angst for the residents that ensued over the following two years. It was a very expensive learning experience to learn something that should have been obvious from the outset. After all, hundreds of residents protesting outside city hall before you finalize an agreement doesn’t exactly signify strong approval. I would hope that incoming Penticton mayors and council members will learn from this experience, and then the cost may be somewhat justified. The taxpayer cannot afford to finance this type of learning experience every four years. If future city administrations operate the way that this one has in the past, there will be a new incoming mayor and council every four years, and these will continue to be costly years.
The mayor also said, “No one anticipated that it would spiral into what it did.” Hello, note the public opposition and outrage prior to the contract with Trio Marine being signed. Again denying the obvious, and speaking of the silent majority that supported the project that existed only in the mayor’s imagination.
Unfortunately, the mayor and council had not learned this need for public consultation prior to the decision to allow Gateway Casino to locate in the SOEC complex, as there was no public consultation prior to the announcement. It was basically a done deal with no details given. The effect of this move on the South Okanagan Events Centre finances and other facilities on the site has yet to play out.
Tim Schroeder who writes a column made the following statement regarding advice that he was given years ago: “No matter how smart you are, a group of determined people can always bring you down.”
Wise advice indicating that you should always have an exit strategy in the face of strong opposition. Obviously city administration had no strategy except making a costly pay-out for a failed project.